BOSTON (CBS) — Hanley Ramirez had one of the best seasons of his career in 2016, supporting David Ortiz in Big Papi’s final season to the tune of 30 home runs, 111 RBIs, and strong defense at first base. The 2017 season, Hanley’s first without Ortiz as his Red Sox teammate, has been a different story.
Ramirez has battled multiple injuries, seemingly avoided playing first base as much as he can, and – most importantly – has not hit well at all at the DH spot, posting a .747 OPS in 63 games.
Hanley’s struggles in 2017 have raised questions of whether his motivation has disappeared in the post-David Ortiz era. Jared Carrabis of Barstool Sports addressed the topic with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday, and while he wasn’t surprised to see a less motivated Hanley this season, he didn’t expect it to be this bad.
“I guess I didn’t realize how big of an impact the absence of David Ortiz would have on Hanley Ramirez’s motivation,” said Carrabis. “I knew that it would affect it a little bit, but I didn’t think that we would be sitting here three months into the season basically having a conversation about how Hanley Ramirez can’t play first base because he turns this neck the wrong way.”
Much like the team appeared to do with embattled third baseman Pablo Sandoval, Carrabis believes the Red Sox should consider a stint on the disabled list for Hanley and rotate Mitch Moreland, Chris Young, and Sam Travis at first base and DH.
“If you’re not healthy enough to play first base, then you’re not healthy enough to DH,” said Carrabis. “And I think that’s how you get a response from [Hanley] is you put the DL on the table, because it’s not like they don’t have options [at first base and DH].”
Carrabis also touched upon the recent performance of Drew Pomeranz, the strength of the AL East as a division, and whether the Red Sox are actually as good a team as their record would suggest. Listen to the full podcast above!